Is he acting this way because of his recent divorce?

Is he acting this way because of his recent divorce?

Dear Meredith!

Over two decades ago, a man I loved very much ended our relationship. I was pretty devastated at the time, but life went on. I always remembered him fondly.

Almost a year ago, this same man found me on a dating site and approached me to reconnect. When I responded, he immediately backtracked and admitted that he was recently divorced and not ready to date. He left the door open, saying, “Maybe sometime down the road if the weather is right.” Then he blocked me. I was a little shocked at how suddenly his tune changed, but I thought he was probably on his own emotional rollercoaster after the divorce. Been there, a lot of empathy for the guy.

Fast forward another six months to today. He contacted me again and asked me out. I felt like maybe I was on his mind and he wanted to start over, so I said yes. We started trading memories by e-mail, forming a new relationship. It was great to meet you again. At one point, he admitted that he was almost ready to “throw in the towel” because he didn’t want to start what he couldn’t finish, but also because he had new feelings that he wanted to explore.

Then, the day before the date, he politely canceled with a vague excuse and hasn’t contacted her since. This time he left with a “I hope we’ll meet again soon” but it was quiet for a few weeks. He’s obviously had a change of heart about hooking up, and I’m fine with that; I mean, I don’t even really know her today. If this was the first online date, I would recognize the hot and cold behavior and move on, but this person… was very important to me at one point, and the way he keeps disappearing again is annoying. Do you have any insight into this behavior or advice on how to handle the situation when it reconnects a third time?

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“She fooled him twice.”

Apparently this is the week people don’t show up!

In your case, if he contacts you again a third time, let him know you’re not interested and move on. If you’d rather block now, go ahead.

I can’t tell you why he would act this way with someone like you – after your stories so far – but you made a great point about not knowing him anymore. Maybe it is now. How nice that this information is predictable.

I’ll tell you where he lost my support in this story: “Maybe sometime down the road if the timing is right.” And then here: “he was almost ready to ‘throw in the towel’ because he didn’t want to start something he couldn’t finish.”

These aren’t mean statements or anything, but he didn’t say, “Hey, I’m not ready and I don’t want to waste your time or get in your way.” It kind of sounds like he assumes you’re into him no matter what. Who’s to say you wouldn’t he throw in the towel due to lack of interest? There’s a vibe here where you think he’s going to be the one to let you down every time. Meanwhile, he may have had a one-on-one date and was ready to leave for good.

Divorces can be complicated and confusing, and sometimes require people to be self-centered in their lives, without bad intentions, while building something new. But he’s an adult and needs to respect his time. It was significant then, but not now.

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I am reading? Will you come back? How many chances do you give someone you have a significant history with?

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